Medical Definition of Evolution, biologic

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Evolution, biologic: Biologic evolution was contrasted with cultural (social) evolution in 1968 by A.G. Motulsky who pointed out that biologic evolution is mediated by genes, shows a slow rate of change, employs random variation (mutations) and selection as agents of change, new variants are often harmful, these new variants are transmitted from parents to offspring, the mode of transmission is simple, complexity is achieved by the rare formation of new genes by chromosome duplication, biologic evolution occurs with all forms of life, and the biology of humans requires cultural evolution.

Reviewed on 9/7/2018

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